Press Releases

It is official - Waterfront Museum hits the millionth mark

On Saturday 7 November the National Waterfront Museum in Swansea welcomed its one millionth visitor, just four years after opening its doors.

Welcoming on average a quarter of a million visitors each year from across Swansea, Wales, Britain and beyond, the Museum is most certainly making its mark on Wales' cultural map.

Visitors can explore the exciting human stories about innovation and industry in Wales, now and over the past 300 years. There are 100 audio visual exhibits including 36 state of the art interactive displays and some very large and now technologically obsolete objects from across Wales including the world's first steam locomotive, a brick press and one of the very few surviving coal wagons.

It was a local Swansea family who became the Museum's celebrated millionth visitor on the weekend. The family from St Thomas were greeted by giant balloons to mark the occasion. Speaking about the Museum, Grandmother Chris Allen said: "It's a great place to bring the children and we regularly come along to the monthly Waterfront Nippers workshop - they love it."

Head of Museum Steph Mastoris presented the family with a souvenir goody bag including a collection of books written about the Museum and a gift voucher for the shop.

2009 has been one of the best performing years for the Museum. This summer alone (July to September) saw visitor figures reaching almost 85,000 compared to last year's 68,000.

Speaking about this special occasion, Steph said: "Welcoming the arrival of our one-millionth visitor is a real honour for us all at the National Waterfront Museum.

"As well as presenting visitors with a fascinating free day out, the Museum plays a key role as one of Swansea's major attractions thus adding to the city's cultural offering and playing an important part in its regeneration.

"We're delighted to be providing the quality of exhibitions and events, as well as levels of service that visitors come back to over and over again.

"This achievement is a fitting way to mark the end of an excellent year - it's now all systems go to welcome our two-millionth visitor!"

Cllr Graham Thomas, Swansea Council's Cabinet Member for Culture, Recreation and Tourism, said: "The National Waterfront Museum has been an outstanding success since it was opened and the visitor figures are testament to its appeal.

"The Museum offers an experience that's both entertaining and educational and the building has become an iconic part of Oystermouth Road and our stunning coastline.

"The National Waterfront Museum combines with facilities such as Swansea Museum, The Dylan Thomas Centre and the Glynn Vivian Gallery to contributing a great deal towards Swansea's thriving cultural community."


Fact file

The National Waterfront Museum officially opened its doors on Wednesday 17 October 2005 and has attracted crowds of visitors with its fascinating collections, fun interactives and fabulous temporary exhibition programmes ever since.

The Museum is a partnership between Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales and The City and County of Swansea.

The £33.5m development was awarded an £11 million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund - the largest grant ever awarded in Wales.

It was designed by Wilkinson Eyre Architects incorporating a Grade II listed warehouse (formerly the Swansea Industrial and Maritime Museum) linked to a spectacular brand new glass and slate building.

The Museum is situated in the Swansea's new Maritime Quarter and forms part of the regeneration of the area. The remainder of the funding came from the Welsh Assembly Government EU Objective One funding and other private donors and sponsors.

Notes to editors

For further information, please contact Marie Szymonski, Marketing Communications Officer on 01792 638970.

Admission to Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales sites is free thanks to the support of the Welsh Assembly Government.

Amgueddfa Cymru operates seven national museums across Wales. These are National Museum Cardiff, St Fagans: National History Museum, the National Roman Legion Museum, Caerleon, Big Pit: National Coal Museum, Blaenafon, the National Wool Museum, Dre-fach Felindre, the National Slate Museum, Llanberis and the National Waterfront Museum, Swansea.